Not only is Billie Eilish one of the most popular songwriters out there today, she might be one of the most logophilic, too. According to a recent study by the experts at WordTips, the 19-year-old pop iconoclast has the biggest vocabulary — in her music, at least — of any contemporary pop artist. Apparently, Eilish’s songs use, on average, 169 unique words out of 1,000. By contrast, Trey Songz and Carly Rae Jepsen are listed at the bottom of the artists studied, with 66 and 69 unique words per 1,000, respectively.
When compared with musical legends, Eilish’s word diversity puts her ahead of all-time greats like Hank Williams and Bonnie Raitt, and not far behind the likes of Jim Morrison, Björk, and the list’s top artist, Patti Smith. Some other wordy modern pop stars who made the list include Harry Styles at 159 unique words out of 1,000, and Lizzo at 153 (does bum-bum-be-dum count as a word?). Lorde and Janelle Monáe are tied at 149 unique words per 1,000. Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker averages at 133, Doja Cat at 119, and Halsey at 113. Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Khalid, and Jhene Aiko are all at 111.
As for the low end of the list, WordTips pegs Meghan Trainor with 72 unique words per 1,000, and Justin Timberlake at 76. Sorry, Arianators, but Ariana Grande only uses 79 unique words out of 1,000. Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Justin Bieber, Usher, and Tove Lo are tied for 80 — the same as Michael Jackson. Surprisingly, storyteller extraordinaire Taylor Swift only averages 86 unique words, but she’s still ahead of Paul McCartney’s 83. See the full list below.
You can hear some of Eilish’s vocabulary in action on her just-released sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. Go down memory lane with our staff list of the star’s 10 best songs.